best baseball movie of all time
Erm... ok, I'm gonna get shot down mercilessly here, but I think The Natural is the best baseball movie of all time.
Bad News Bears is awesome (only the original, please), as it deals with so many issues that movies now-a-days just ignore (like alcoholism, deadbeat dads, differing economic backgrounds of the kids/teams). And, of course, it's funny as hell. Tatum is hot (too bad she turned to crack) and Walter Matthau is perfect as the grizzled old, flawed manager.
But The Natural just has the epic scope, not to mention the olde tyme setting that just seems to make it even more authentic. Is it overblown, maudlin, manipulative, unrealistic? Yes, but so is your face.
The Natural does a great job of toeing that line between fantasy and reality that the game of baseball encompasses. It's not a "real-life" movie, but instead the relation of a myth, just as the Greeks told their little Greek children thousands of years ago about tales of brave Ulysses (or, more accurately, Odysseus, but I wanted to work in the Cream reference).
When I watch The Natural, I feel like I'm connecting with something that is eternal and beyond this mortal tapestry. When I watch Bull Durham, I just want to connect with Susan Sarandon's tits.